Berean Bible Study Notes

John 7



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On to chapter 7! Now, Chapter 6 had ended this way:

John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.



Peter's words are so compelling to me: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." I was one who was interested in many things, and it took me quite a while to come to the same conclusion. Only Jesus truly has the words of eternal life. Note, though, as we enter chapter 7, that many disciples had left Jesus. The twelve are still there, but Jesus knows already which one will betray Him. Don't let this be confusing. Jesus had many disciples. That's the word mathetes (math-ay-tes') and means a learner or a pupil. The twelve were special and eleven of them would later become apostles. That's the word apostolos (ap-os'-tol-os). It means a "set apart, sent out one." They were specially called and sent out by Jesus. Paul was also later appointed an apostle. Most of the disciples just came, but the twelve disciples had been chosen.

John 7

John 7:1 (NKJV) After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world." 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

6 Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come." 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

John 6 had taken place near Passover, in the spring. Now, it is autumn. We can assume that Jesus has been to Jerusalem at least twice since the events of John 6, because it was the law:

Deuteronomy 16:16 (NIV) Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed: 17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.

We can also assume, however, that Jesus' visits were low key. The last time He was in Jerusalem in a public fashion, He had healed the invalid man at the Pool of Bethesda on a Sabbath day (John 5), which put the Jewish leadership into an uproar:

John 5:15 (NKJV) The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

The Jewish leadership was hatching ways to kill Jesus, and since His time had not yet come, He avoided trouble by staying out of the public eye. (It's a good lesson for us to avoid putting ourselves in deliberate danger. Do not tempt the Lord your God!)

The Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. It was a feast of the Lord, but notice again how John declares it had become just a feast "of the Jews."

John 7:3 His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world." 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

Jesus has been staying near where He grew up, so His physical brothers were there. That last verse, For even His brothers did not believe in Him, is a fulfillment of prophecy:

Psalm 69:7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Shame has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother's children;

Jesus' brothers are being sarcastic and basically saying, "You lost your following and you don't do anything in public. IF (note the "if"), you really are doing these miracles and are who you say you are, why aren't you showing yourself in Jerusalem? You might impress these country bumpkins, but the learned men are in Judea." Jesus answers:

John 7:6 Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come." 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

It's easy to read this section quickly and get confused. His brothers say, "Come to the feast with us" and Jesus says He's not coming. Yet, a few verses later, He goes anyway. Did He change His mind? You'll notice the word "yet" has a footnote saying that it's not in some texts. Some people make a big deal out of that, saying that it's evidence that some manuscripts are corrupt, because it makes Jesus a liar. However, the "yet" does not need to be there because it is fully implied. If Jesus had said "I am not coming to this feast," and meant that He simply wasn't going, His brothers would have been all over Him. It was the LAW. He HAD to go, or He would have been sinning. You can see that His brothers understood that Jesus was saying, "I'm not going with you, in the public caravan, on display. I'm coming later, in private." It wasn't time for Jesus to be confrontational with the Jewish leadership. His time would come for that, but not yet.

John 7:10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, "Where is He?" 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, "He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the people." 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

The Jewish leadership have their eyes out for Him, but they don't find Him. He's there, but not openly. He's apparently the talk of the town, but in whispers. No one wants to be put out of the synagogue for appearing to be saying He's the Messiah.

Feast of Tabernacles

You will not understand what's going on in the rest of this account and even into the next chapter unless you understand the Feast of Tabernacles. God told the Israelites to celebrate seven feasts or holidays. They were the Feasts of the Lord:

Leviticus 23:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.

At the time of the Exodus from Egypt, God instituted a new calendar. He declared the time of the Exodus to be the first month, called "Abib" at that time and "Nisan" after the Babylonian captivity. The Bible uses both names. It corresponds to our March/April timeframe. The Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar with a solar correction. Nisan technically begins at the sighting of the faintest sliver of the moon, after the new moon. In 2006, that day should be our March 30. (Interestingly, the very last day of the Hebrew calendar this year will be marked by a total solar eclipse over the Middle East.) So, Nisan is the first month. There are three feasts that take place one after another in Nisan - Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits. (We know the Feast of Firstfruits better as Easter) Then, in the third month, Sivan, the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot, is held. We know it better as Pentecost. It takes place 50 days from the Feast of Firstfruits, a period of seven weeks. The Jews celebrate Shavout on the 6th of Sivan (which can be any day of the week), but biblically, it should always fall on a Sunday. Then, there is a span of time until Tishri, the seventh month. In Tishri, the last three feasts are held - the Feast of Trumpets, usually marked on your calendars as Rosh Hashanah, The Feast of Atonement or Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.

The feasts are set up like the Jewish Menorah - three - one - three. They are commemorative. For example, Passover refers back to the Exodus from Egypt and the death of the first born. You remember that the death angel "passed over" the houses marked with blood on the doorposts. Tabernacles commemorates the wandering in the wilderness. The feasts were also prophetic and pointed to future events. Paul tells us that:

Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come.

Jesus perfectly fulfilled the first three feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits, in his first coming. He not only perfectly fulfilled the symbolism, but on the exact day the Feasts took place. For example, as our lamb who takes away the sin of the world, Jesus died at the exact hour that the lambs were being killed in the Temple for Passover. He rose on the Feast of Firstfruits, as "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." The middle feast, Pentecost, was fulfilled in the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the church. The last three feasts seem to picture the second coming of Jesus

The Feast of Tabernacles begins on the 15th day of Tishri. (usually October) It begins at sundown and continues for seven days. There is also an eighth day that is counted separately. The symbolism of this feast is very rich, but requires a bit of Bible knowledge to really appreciate. During the Feast of Tabernacles, observant Jews still build booths to live in. In Jerusalem, many of them build on small balconies outside their apartments. These temporary shelters are reminders of their wandering in the wilderness. They are meant to emphasize that our presence in this world, this wilderness, is just for a time - and that our real home still awaits us.

Many people believe that Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles. You can read more about that here:

On What Day Was Jesus Born?

Messiahmas? On the Birth Date of Jesus of Nazareth

If that is true, God made at least two "puns" in his Word about that. In John 1:14, it says, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. That word "dwelling" actually means "tabernacle" in Greek. If God was hinting toward the Feast of Tabernacles and the dwelling in booths, this verse implies temporary dwelling, which was exactly true. Jesus physically dwelt on earth only a short time. Also, the Feast of Tabernacles is always on the day of the full moon, which makes this verse interesting, too:

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

If Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles, then John the Baptist was born on Passover, six months earlier. (this is actually how some have determined that Jesus was born on Tabernacles, as it is possible to figure out the day that John the Baptist was conceived). That would mean that John the Baptist was born, as a type of Elijah, on the very day that the Jews seek Elijah.

The Feast of Tabernacles has particular meaning for me as it was exactly at sundown at the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles that my husband had a heart attack. It was a vivid reminder to me that this world is just our temporary dwelling place. OK, here's some of what the Bible says about the Feast of Tabernacles:

Leviticus 23

Feast of Tabernacles (NIV)
33 The LORD said to Moses, 34 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work.
37 ("'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire-the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38 These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD's Sabbaths and [5] in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD .)
39 " 'So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. 40 On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.' "

The Feast of Tabernacles is also discussed here: Numbers 29, Deuteronomy 16, Zechariah 14. The Bible also calls the Feast of Tabernacles the "Feast of Ingathering:"

Exodus 23:16 "Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. (This is what we call Easter. At this time, the very first of the crops are being harvested) "Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year (end of the harvest year), when you gather in your crops from the field. 17 "Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD.

Exodus 34:22 "Celebrate the Feast of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. 23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.

The Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Ingathering is celebrated when the very last of the harvest is gathered in. There is just a ton of symbolism there.

OK, the Feast of Tabernacles was the seventh of seven feasts and took place in the seventh month, on the 15th of the month. That was the full moon, so it was considered the fullness of the month. With all those sevens, you've got to guess that God just packed this feast with symbolism. It took place when the last of the harvest was gathered in. It was the third of the three feasts when every able-bodied male was to appear at the Temple in Jerusalem and make an offering. The feast lasted seven days. God added an eighth day on, but the feast itself is for seven days. For seven days, the people were to build temporary booths to live in with four kinds of tree branches. They were supposed to build them so that they could see the stars and feel the wind.

Today, in Jerusalem, the apartments and hotels all have little balconies so that people can live in their temporary shelters. The next article below has pictures of that.

There were special offerings that were made each of the seven days. In later years, other ceremonies were added. The fall rains started after the Feast of Tabernacles. Those rains were necessary to soften the ground and prepare it for the next planting season. That looking for rain and the coming season was combined with looking for Messiah and the living water that He would provide.

The seventh day of the feast - the last day of the feast - was special. It was called Hashanna Rabba or the Great Hosanna. Hashanna means "day" and Rabba means "great" and sometimes refers to one who IS great, so Hashanna Rabba means "The great day." Hosanna means "salvation," so all together, this day became known as the great day of salvation.

You will find articles on the Internet that refer to the 8th day as "the great day," but you'll notice that all the Jewish sites and Messianic Jewish sites (Christian Jews) say that it's the seventh day. That's because the traditions of the Jews were and are well known. You can also tell that the last day is the seventh day from Scripture. The Feast of Tabernacles is clearly a seven-day feast. The eighth day is associated with it, but separate:

Leviticus 23:33 (NKJV) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.

The NIV is perhaps even clearer:

Leviticus 23:33 (NIV) The LORD said to Moses, 34 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work.

Interestingly, there are only two books in the Bible that mention "the last day." One is Nehemiah and the other is John. All together, the phrase appears eight times:

Nehemiah 8:18 Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.

Here are the other places the phrase appears:

John 6:39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

John 11:24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

John 12:48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

The fact that the last day, the great day, is the seventh day and not the eighth day is important to the symbolism of what's going on in this chapter when you really get into it.



OK, so on the seventh day - the Hoshanna Rabba - the priest (some say the High Priest) goes to the pool of Siloam and dips out a pitcher of water while chanting Isaiah 12:

Isaiah 12:1 And in that day you will say: "O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'" 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

There is a big parade that follows the priest to the Temple. He pours out the water into a special basin, and the Levitical choir sings Psalm 118. At least some of it should be familiar to you:

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

It is a Messianic Psalm - the same one the people sang as Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey. This is why it is called "the great day of salvation." You can get more details from the articles below:

Sukkot - The Feast of Tabernacles (a portion of the article below)

A Commentary by Kev Corvette

This was written by a man at Rapture Ready, a Christian discussion board. He was a Rabbi and Messianic Jew (Christian) and very knowledgeable about Jewish customs and how they related to New Testament Scripture. He died very suddenly of a massive heart attack a few years ago.

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles (a portion of the article below)

Now, the eighth day had its own ceremonies. The Jews call it Simchat Torah, the Joy of the Torah. It was the day that God called for a solemn assembly as a closing to the Tabernacles season. The Torah, the first five books of Moses, or the books of the law, are divided so that they are completely read through each year. That reading is completed on the 22nd of Tishri, or the eighth day after the start of the Feast of Tabernacles. If Jesus really was born on the 15th of Tishri, the Feast of Tabernacles, then His circumcision would have been on this eighth day. Circumcision is the mark of the promise to keep the law - the sign of the covenant. How appropriate if the One born to fulfill the law, to complete the law, was circumcised on the day that the reading of the law was completed!

Messiahmas? On the Birth Date of Jesus of Nazareth

Here are two Jewish (not Christian) articles on that eighth day:

SIMCHAT TORAH

Simchat Torah

On the Assembly on the Eighth Day (Leviticus 23:39), Shemini Atzeret or Atseret, and its symbolism

 

Here are some additional articles on the Feast of Tabernacles. They represent multiple points of view. It was a little difficult to find articles from a non-millennial point of view, but most of these articles don't dwell on that aspect . Regardless of your point of view on that issue, we are all looking to a time when we will be with Jesus, when we will tabernacle together forevermore.

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:17

The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, Chapter 14, Feast of Tabernacles I highly recommend this article. Very informative. It is taken from the book The Temple - Its Ministry and Services as they were at the time of Christ by Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889) Northwestern Publishing carries it, but it's available in its entirety at the link.

The Biblical Institution of the Feast - Sukkot

The Significance of the Feast of Tabernacles to the Church (non-millennial)



Tabernacles This article is good because it lists many Scripture references, but they are incorrect in calling the eighth day the "last day" of the feast. As mentioned above, it was actually the seventh day that is the "Last day" or "Great Day" of the Feast. This doesn't really matter for now, but someday, if you want to study deeply into the symbols of this feast, it makes a difference. It's actually clearer in the King James:

Tabernacles – several articles



OK, let's get back to the text:

John 7:10 (NKJV) But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, "Where is He?" 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, "He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the people." 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

So, Jesus goes to the feast and keeps the law, but He doesn't go in the big caravan. He goes "secretly." This doesn't make much sense if the intent is to avoid publicity entirely, as in just a few verses, we'll see Him teaching openly. In fact, people will be amazed that He teaches openly. I believe that everything He does during this feast is completely orchestrated, and that the reason He is there in "secret," is to play out a picture. I have yet to see this in any commentary anywhere, but to me, it seems fairly clear. I'll explain more as we go along, and of course, you'll want to take all of it with major grains of salt.

The people look for Jesus before they find Him, and that, too, is part of the picture, I believe. They argue back and forth about Him, but no one dares hold an open opinion, for fear of being put out of the synagogue.

John 7:14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?"

In the midst of the feast, probably sometime during the fourth day, Jesus goes openly to the Temple and teaches. Why? Why was it in secret before, but not now? His teaching is incredible. Remember that Jesus taught with authority:

Mark 1:27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching — and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.

There were many seminaries, but Jesus had gone to none of them. The Jews (that is, the Jewish leadership) were amazed at Jesus' knowledge and insight. Jesus answers:

John 7:16 Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?" 

First of all, notice that "doctrine" is singular. Jesus is asserting that all of it - Old Testament, His current teaching, which will be recorded as the New Testament, is all one doctrine. He says that it comes directly from God - not from learning on His own or from any kind of school or discipleship. To reject the message of Jesus is to reject the Word of God. Now, that next verse:

John 7:17 (NKJV) If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

John 7:17 (NIV) If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

This is basically saying "Try it - you'll like it." That's not exactly right, but the idea is that if you choose to follow God, if you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him - and you will know His Christ, His Son. The Scriptures speak of Jesus, and if you seek the Lord, you will wind up seeking Jesus. To seek, to trust, to believe in the true God will bring you to trusting and believing in Jesus. God will instruct you, lead you.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Jesus was telling them that if they would truly trust God and determine to do HIS will, He would lead them to the truth.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 25:12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

Hosea 6:3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

Luke 8:15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

John 1:46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip.

John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Try it - you'll like it. The proof is in the pudding. Take a step of faith. Those are all basically what Jesus is saying. There is another thought, too. God will give you a little truth. If you handle it in the right way, He'll give you more. In other words, if you handle it with belief, He'll show you more things.

John 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"

Lots of things being said here. The teachers who spoke with so-called knowledge were not really seeking God's glory but their own. The Jews would happily follow this Rabbi or that Rabbi, who spoke not to reveal God's glory, but to make themselves look good. Jesus sought only the glory of His Father. He is also claiming to be sinless here, and in the next breath is showing that the Jews are not. The last time that Jesus was openly in Jerusalem, when He healed the invalid on a Sabbath day, the Jews plotted to kill Him. They so greatly revere Moses and the Law - yet they were planning to kill.

John 7:20 The people answered and said, "You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?"

The crowd, in from the outlying areas for the Feast, have no idea that the Jewish leadership sought to kill Jesus.

John 7:21 Jesus answered and said to them, "I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

Jesus continues speaking to the crowd as though speaking to the leadership. The "one work" is the healing that He had done of the man who had been an invalid for 38 years. That was the primary miracle that He did in the city of Jerusalem so far. The leadership had sought to kill Him, because He had healed on the Sabbath day. He points out their inconsistency. They break the Sabbath in order to keep the circumcision laws (which didn't start with Moses, but with Abraham). They cause an outcry of pain on the Sabbath day and consider it righteous. Jesus healed on the Sabbath and caused an outcry of praise from the man He healed. He is showing them that while they may be keeping the letter of the law, they are far from its spirit.

John 7:25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, "Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from."

Some of the people were from Jerusalem and knew that the leaders were indeed planning to kill Jesus. They are amazed that He is speaking boldly, in public, and the leadership is saying nothing (so far). As for the last part of the next verse, when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from, there are as many opinions as there are commentaries. Some believe that the passages that imply that the Messiah will come suddenly, with great power and glory are what the people are referring to. Some believe this is a reference to the virgin birth. Others think that there was some sort of non-biblical teaching that was commonly accepted that the Messiah would appear mysteriously. It's very interesting when you think about it. Messiah will come suddenly, with power and glory - when He comes again. And, it is very possible that a future person will mysteriously appear on the scene, offering all the answers to the problems in the Middle East. Will the Jews believe that person is their long-awaited Messiah?

John 7:28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, "You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me."

Gary Baumler, in The People's Bible: John, (1997, Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee) says:

John 7:30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, "When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?"

His hour had not yet come. We hear those words over and over in John. The Jewish leadership could do nothing until the time - and even then, what they were going to do had been prophesied hundreds of years in advance. Until that day, no one laid a hand on Him. Notice that many people are beginning to believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah. However, they still don't have the right idea about what that Messiah has come to do. In a few months time, these same people will be yelling "Crucify!"

John 7:32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come."

35 Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What is this thing that He said, 'You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come'?"

Jesus, of course, is talking about the remainder of His time on earth and then His ascension into heaven. The Jews have no idea what He's talking about. Now the "them" of verse 33 is apparently the crowd plus the officers sent to arrest Jesus. It may be the officers wondering where Jesus will hide Himself that they cannot find Him.

The Last Day

John 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Now, it is the seventh day of the Feast (not the eighth as some commentators will say). This is the day the Jews call "The Great Day of Salvation." This is the day that there is the big, joyous parade, and the quoting of the Messianic passages:

Isaiah 12:1 And in that day you will say: "O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'" 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

This is the day, with the crowd all worked up with Messianic expectations, with the water ceremony just completed, that Jesus cries out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

Jesus is proclaiming, loud and clear, that He is the Messiah that they are waiting for. He is the salvation they have been promised. Those that believe will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is reminding them, not only of the Scriptures they have just been reciting, but many others, like these:

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Ezekiel 39:29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD."

Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves. 13:1 "In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.

Some of the people believe, at least partially:

John 7:40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, "Truly this is the Prophet." 41 Others said, "This is the Christ."

But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. 44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Some thought He was the promised Prophet, the one who would be like Moses. Others are saying, "No, this is the Messiah Himself!" (not realizing that the prophesies apply to the same person). Some cannot understand how the Messiah could come from Galilee. They don't know the whole story. How often do people today do the same thing? Things are dismissed because people don't understand how the Scriptures fit together. The people are divided, as they will always be when the subject is Jesus. Some want to eliminate the source of contention (again, something that always happens - just look at the "peace" symbol), but again, no one laid hands on Him.

John 7:45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why have you not brought Him?"

46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this Man!"

I love this part. The officers go to arrest Jesus and find themselves drawn in. What they don't realize, of course, is that His time had not yet come.

John 7:47 (NKJV) Then the Pharisees answered them, "Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."

That last bit is a touch confusing. The NIV and NLT are clearer:

John 7:47 (NIV) "You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. 48 "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law — there is a curse on them."

John 7:47 (NLT) "Have you been led astray, too?" the Pharisees mocked. 48 "Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? 49 These ignorant crowds do, but what do they know about it? A curse on them anyway!"

Now, what they don't know is standing right there among them is one who is beginning to believe - Nicodemus. Notice how it always names him as he who came to Jesus by night. When he first came to Jesus, he was fully in darkness. Now, he is in his twilight:

John 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, 51 "Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?"

52 They answered and said to him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."

Nicodemus doesn't bring his thoughts into the open, but in his fear, does defend Jesus somewhat. How do the rest of the Pharisees react? With scorn: "Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."

Now, this confuses me. Jonah was from Galilee:

2 Kings 14:25 He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.

Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1995. Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. T. Nelson: Nashville:

Nahum was very probably from Galilee also. He lived in the northern territory of Israel before the Assyrians took it over. Elijah also lived in the northern area. Plus, you've got Galilee prophesied to be involved with the Messiah:

Isaiah 9:1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan — 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

So, are they just ignorant? Or does it mean something other than the obvious?



This chapter ends kind of oddly (but, I believe it is not odd if, indeed, it fits that "picture" as it seems to):

John 7:53 And everyone went to his own house.

Chapter 8 takes place the next day, which is the eighth day - the conclusion of the Tabernacles season. It is not the "last day." It is in this chapter that Jesus says He is the "light of the world." One of the traditions of the Feast of Tabernacles is that huge lampstands are lit in one of the courts of the Temple. It was said to have been bright enough to cast light on every house in Jerusalem. We'll cover that in more detail when we get to John 8.

Now, about that potential picture (which you are taking with major grains of salt). . . I think that Jesus is very deliberately fulfilling a type or a picture of the fullness of the history of the earth. The Feast of Tabernacles is a seven day feast. It is the seventh feast and takes place in the seventh month, on the 15th of the month, which is considered the full part of the month (because of the full moon).

The earth has existed for about 6,000 years. Man has been in control for 6,000 years. The number of man is six, as Revelation clearly proclaims. In the creation week, man was created on the 6th day. Now, the Sun was created on the 4th day. The Sun, the "light of the world," was created in the midst of the creation week. Jesus, the true "light of the world," appeared in human form about 4,000 years after creation. He appeared many times before then, but not openly. He came "in secret."

When Jesus goes to the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7, He goes "in secret" until He suddenly reveals Himself in the midst of the week. The crowds had been looking for Him right before He came. History shows us that Messianic expectations were very high right before Jesus was born. So, Jesus comes secretly, and then, in the midst of the week, openly shows Himself. What does He do at that point? He teaches. Many people put their faith in Him, but others reject Him and try to have Him arrested. Then, Jesus disappears from the account again until the "last day." In between, the people are apparently divided about Him, as they certainly have been for the last 2,000 years. This "last day" is the seventh day - the final day of the Feast. There is still an eighth day to come.

Now, on the seventh day, people are still living in their booths. This is the last day that they will do that. It is on this seventh day that they go to their real homes and stop living in the shelters. On the eighth day, there is a special Sabbath. On this eighth day, people are in their real homes. I believe the eighth day is a picture of eternity.

It is on this "last day," the seventh day, that Jesus cries out that He is the source of living water. I believe He is playing out the events that are prophesied in Zechariah 12:10-13:1, even to the inclusion of that odd sentence at the end of the chapter, which fits in with Zechariah 12:12-14.

I don't expect you to get much out of this picture, but it is evidence to me that the entire Bible fits together perfectly. Take this particular "type" with major salt, as I have yet to find anyone else who has written about the same thing. If you see it, great. If you don't - well, apparently neither does any other Bible teacher that I've found!

 



The Berean Bible Study of the Gospel of John




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Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11

© 2012 This study was written by Jacqui Komschlies and last updated 2/1/2012. If you have questions, comments, corrections or concerns, please write me.

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